The team of doctors at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi successfully performed a dual lobe liver transplant on a patient from Yemen, in which parts of liver from two donors were grafted in to the recipient’s body.
Mr. Al Naqeeb, a Yemeni national patient who was suffering from end-stage liver disease, was told by doctors that he needed a liver transplant. All three of his children offered to donate a part of their organ to save their father. However, as Mr. Naqeeb’s son was obese, he was ruled out as a potential donor.
On the request of family, the doctors at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi started investigating Mr. Naqeeb’s daughters — Bahaja and Sarah, for organ donation.
For liver transplants in cases of living donors, a patient’s diseased liver is replaced with a partial healthy liver from another person. In a typical adult recipient, 55% to 70% of the liver (the right lobe) is removed from a healthy living donor. The donor’s liver regenerates approaching 100% function within four to six weeks.
However, in this case, investigation reports revealed that both daughters, who are in their 20s, had less than the required volume of liver. Hence, the doctors could not perform the transplant with either girl as donor.
Since there were no other donors, the daughters insisted that doctors explore if they could both donate parts of their liver, which could be used together for the transplant. “Dual lobe liver transplant is possible, but it is more complex. Because we didn’t have any other option to save the patient’s life, we give it a chance and succeeded,” said Dr Goyal, Senior Consultant , Liver Transplant at the hospital.
He explained that they took out the right lobe of Bahaja’s liver, weighing 400 grams, and the left lobe of Sarah’s liver that weighed 240 grams, and implanted both in the recipient.
“There was a lot of pressure on our team as two donors were involved in the process. The patient’s transplant was already a high-risk one due to his multiple problems. But we succeeded in giving the patient a new lease of life,” Dr Goyal said.
The life-saving transplant was performed on May 23rd 2019. Both the donors – Bahaja and Sarah are normal and healthy. The recipient, Mr. Al Naqeeb, was discharged with a healthy liver.
Dual lobe liver transplants are rare because they are complex. In a single donor transplant, the venous channel in only side of the liver has to be connected in the recipient. But in a dual lobe transplant, venous channels of both the right lobe and the left lobe have to be joined, the doctor explained.